There is nothing more relaxing after a heavy work week or a robust gym session than a relaxing soak in your spa or hot tub, and many studies are supporting its health benefits. The question is, however, can you have too much of a good thing when it comes to time spent in a spa? Could excessive exposure in hot water be doing more harm than good?
Keep reading for some of the facts and findings around this topic as the team here at Ezy Spa uncovers some expert advice on what the optimum amount of time in a spa is.
Factors to consider
There are a number of things to consider when deciding how long to stay in a spa, regardless of whether you use a spa for leisure or therapeutic reasons. Several factors also involve the condition of your health and whether or not you are pregnant.
The safe amount of time to spend in a spa can vary between adults and children. The professional consensus for the maximum time anyone should stay in a spa or hot tub is generally 30-minutes with a maximum water temperature of around 40°C.
However, it has been suggested that children should not stay in a hot spa for longer than 10-20 minutes at a time, and it may be safer if the water temperature is kept slightly cooler, between 30 and 35°C.
Certain heart conditions could be at risk of aggravation in heated spas or hot tubs. The hot water can place pressure on the heart as the body heats up, and can also compromise the effectiveness of heart medications.
Medical professionals recommend people with heart conditions reduce the spa’s temperature, and limit exposure to a maximum of five to ten minutes.
Spas and pregnancy
Doctors and infant health professionals suggest that it may not be safe to spend any time in a spa or hot tub while pregnant due to the high temperatures.
Research suggests pregnant women who use a hot tub more than once for long periods have an increased chance of having babies with neural tube defects like spina bifida or anencephaly, so best be cautious.
Spending more than 20 to 30-minutes in a spa can dehydrate your body considerably.
Seen as your body is hot and sweating, it is best to get out regularly to cool down and rehydrate. You should always have drinking water on hand in a safe container to hydrate during your spa session also.
Prolonged lengths of time spent in a pool can also present a risk of overheating. This can cause fatigue and dizziness as well as affect blood pressure. This may increase the risk of nasty falls and potential drowning.
Spas and hot tubs can intensify the effects of alcohol, whether consumed before or during your spa session. The heat affects blood pressure and promotes the transfer of alcohol into your bloodstream, increasing the alcohol’s effect.
This can present several risks, including:
- Aggravation of heart problems
- Increased potential of drowning
- Falling hazards
- Increased dehydration
The effects of alcohol may also impair your judgments around spa safety, placing yourself and others at risk.
If someone has particularly sensitive skin, there are some cases where someone may experience “spa burn”. Overexposure to a hot spa can produce a mild burn similar to a sunburn. Alcohol can be a contributing factor here by numbing your skin from the hot water and impairing your judgment.
Depth is another factor when deciding how long to stay in a spa. If you are submerged up to your neckline, your body needs to work harder to regulate its heat.
Sitting with the water up to your chest significantly reduces the amount of stress on your body, meaning you can handle prolonged exposure.
Understanding the limits
What started with a simple question has led to a not so simple answer. It appears that many factors contribute to what constitutes a healthy amount of time in a spa.
There have been some general rules of thumb uncovered, however:
- A healthy adult should limit themselves to a maximum time of 20 to 30 minutes per session.
- Children should limit exposure to 10-15 minutes and consider lowering temperatures.
- People who are pregnant or have a serious health condition should limit or avoid exposure.
If you have any health concerns, it is recommended you seek medical advice from your health professional before using a spa, hot tub or sauna.
For reliable spa delivery or removal with expert spa advice, you can contact the award-winning professionals here at Ezy Spa. Contact us by phone or email and our friendly staff will be happy to arrange a consultation or offer expert advice.